Maritime Union Strengthens Ties With PNG

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[Picture: Daniel Mathew]

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), continued their strong commitment to international solidarity by providing support and training, for a member of the Papua New Guinea Maritime and Transport Workers’ Union (PNGMTWU) as part of an ITF inclusion program.

Daniel Mathew of the PNGMTWU, has just completed a weeklong placement in Freemantle as part of an ITF inclusion program, which included having him work with the WA branch and was exposing him to life as an ITF ship inspector.

Working closely with the Papua New Guinea Maritime and Transport Workers Union, ITF has provided training on all aspects of campaign work, including vessel inspections. 

“It was a great opportunity for Daniel to learn about ITF ship inspections,” said ITF Inspector Keith McCorriston.

“On his first day, Daniel addressed a community picket line in Fremantle where he spoke about Transport and Maritime industry issues in PNG,” said McCorriston. “The members and community responded well to Daniel’s report and wished him and the PNGMTWU well in their ongoing struggle.”


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[Picture: International Solidarity: Keith McCorriston & Daniel Mathew]

During the week, Daniel visited port facilities and ships, where he was present on several ship inspections. On one ship, he was greeted by seafarers who were clearly suffering from pressure applied by their superiors:

“Daniel saw first hand the highs and lows of what seafarers have to put up with, including Masters who show complete arrogance towards crew members,” McCorriston said. “Daniel played a role in getting two seafarers repatriated home after they had spent 16 months on board a ship as well as ensuring wages were paid and conditions improved.”

The MUA and ITF-affiliated unions continue to provide advice, support and a global perspective to unions in Papua New Guinea.